Beauty Insider: NZ Makeup Picked Up By Sephora; Raaie Wins Big At ‘Oscars Of Beauty’; Hana Closed For Next 48 Hours

By Ashleigh Cometti
Expect to see a local makeup brand lining the shelves at Sephora from the middle of next month. Photo / Babiche Martens

Dust off your hairbrush, clean up your brushes and crack open that special lipstick — it’s Viva Beauty Week. A New Zealand makeup brand is set to be stocked online and in-store at Sephora from April 17; two local skin and body care brands win big at the Oscars

Welcome to the first instalment of Viva’s Beauty Insider, our new weekly column where beauty editor Ashleigh Cometti unpacks every movement within the industry.

Check back every Thursday for the latest instalment, or keep your finger on the pulse by heading to our @Nzhviva Instagram for updates as they happen.

Read on for every important beauty announcement worth knowing this week.

Basalaj Beauty enters Sephora

Yesterday, Amber Basalaj invited a select group of local beauty media and influencers to Auckland’s Studio Cassini to announce her brand would be the first New Zealand makeup line to be stocked in-store and online at Sephora stores nationwide from April 17.

Following a successful partnership with New Zealand Fashion Week in 2023, and a pop-up kiosk at Auckland’s Sylvia Park mall, Amber is elated her rebellious makeup brand has garnered the attention of the international beauty retailer.

“Sephora is synonymous with innovation and quality in the beauty industry, and I am delighted to see Basalaj Beauty stand alongside other iconic brands within their stores,” Amber says.

“I believe our unique rebel brand, with its commitment to authenticity and self-expression, will resonate with Sephora’s diverse and beauty-conscious clientele.”

It’s a significant milestone to celebrate after only 18 months in business (Basalaj Beauty launched in July 2022), and the brand’s full suite of products — from highly saturated lipsticks including its newly launched liquid format to multi-pan eyeshadow palettes — will be readily available from all three Sephora stores nationwide and online at about this time next month.

New Zealand skincare brand Raaie recognised at the Allē Awards aka the Oscars of beauty

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Raaie founder Katey Mandy, who not only launched a petition challenging the Government to remove GST from the sale of sunscreen, but flew to Los Angeles to attend the prestigious Allē Awards, which is known within the industry as the “Oscars of beauty”.

After spending a few days surveying the best beauty and wellness offerings in the area, dining on local fare and being plugged into a lymphatic drainage suit (well-loved by celebrities including Jennifer Aniston), Katey got prepped and ready for the red carpet-style awards dinner at the Millennium Biltmore.

The glittering affair saw beauty brand founders from across the globe in attendance, making it even sweeter when the local skincare maker was awarded for its Morning Dew Vitamin C Serum.

It’s the fifth time Raaie has received an industry award since launching two years ago, and accelerates Katey’s plans to launch the brand into the US market.

Of her exciting win, Katey says: “What an end to the trip! Can’t believe we won a prestigious Allē Award, often described as the Oscars of the global beauty industry, beating mega brands like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop. It was an incredible experience to meet the judging panel, which included scientists from Chanel, Estée Lauder, Shiseido, L’Oreal and La Perla Beauty. They described Raaie’s Morning Dew Vitamin C Serum as ‘setting a new standard for anti-ageing efficacy using the unique antioxidant power of New Zealand botanicals that survive in our harsh UV environment’, which was my favourite moment of the night.”

To see all the highlights from Katey’s trip, head to @Nzhviva.

Tronque awarded for its vitamin C body oil

Raaie wasn’t the only New Zealand beauty brand celebrated at the Allē Awards with hormone-friendly body care brand Tronque recognised as the best prestige formula in the Bath & Body category.

The highly competitive category saw Tronque stacked against well-known brands such as Olaplex and Deciem (the umbrella company that owns The Ordinary), but ultimately resulted in Tronque’s Vitamin C Body Oil receiving the award for the Most Significant Formula.

Tronque’s win was decided by a panel of industry experts from esteemed beauty brands such as Chanel, L’Oréal, Shiseido and Esteé Lauder.

Of Tronque’s win the judges noted: “great ingredients and good data backing” — and we tend to agree!

Hana closed until Sunday

Urban sanctuary Hana is closed temporarily, following an unexpected flood at its Grey Lynn location.

Doors will be closed today and tomorrow, with the wellness space expected to resume normal operations this Sunday (March 17).

An e-newsletter sent to its client base confirmed all appointments scheduled for Friday and Saturday would be rescheduled for a later date, and the company apologised for any disruption to regulars’ weekend plans.

As a make-good for the temporary closure, Hana is offering complimentary shipping on all orders placed from now until Saturday with the code FREESHIPPING at checkout.

In exciting news, Hana has also revealed its new Parnell location will be open from the end of April. Watch this space.

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